Spanish Speaking Work in the NYC Area
Gardner Hall, Box 123, Port Murray, NJ 07865, Tel. (908) 850-5389, Email <GardnerHall@compuserve.com> Report 12/20/00
We continue to have baptisms from our group of contacts. The latest are Ernesto and Yessenia from El Salvador. They have been visiting the congregation in Fair Lawn for over six months and from the beginning have listened intently to Bible teaching. They also regularly attended our Saturday evening Bible study in the home of German Ortiz. Even before their baptism they were socially integrated into the group. We all love them!
Ernesto and Yessenia, like many new Christians, are facing some difficult challenges. One of the toughest for Yessenia is that she has been falsely accused by some old neighbors of making threats against their children and has been indicted by a grand jury. It is difficult to imagine how such a sweet, easygoing and loving person could be accused of such, but the bottom line is that she is having to pay a lawyer a large sum of money to defend herself. The lawyer says that they have a weak case against her, and yet she must pay deeply to clear her name. Please pray for her as she deals with this and other challenges.
For a time I was becoming overwhelmed with home Bible studies on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but several have dropped out either temporarily or permanently.
Most home studies mentioned in the last report continue:
* Jose, the new Christian baptized in October, continues his studies and is growing.
* Maria continues to learn from her studies on Saturday. I am confident she will one day obey the gospel.
* Jorge and Amantina continue to study with German Ortiz and me on Saturdays. I become a bit concerned when people like Jose and Amantina have a good knowledge of the truth and yet find reasons to avoid visiting our services.
* Rosa Rodriguez has been in Santo Domingo but returned this week, so our classes with her will begin again.
* We are able to study with Lidia Tejada, mentioned in previous reports once every two or three weeks.
We have several new studies and contacts:.
* Francisco is a young Nicaraguan who doesn't know how to read and yet he loves me to read the Bible to him every Tuesday. We've read through different stories and parables in the book of Luke, and Francisco can answer almost all my questions about them. When we began our readings, I wondered how much Francisco would grasp, and yet it seems he understands most everything I am teaching him.
Francisco was brought to us by Bartel, a godly Christian woman from Fair Lawn. She takes care of him and several others in a State home in Totowa.
* Joanna is a cousin of German Ortiz and seems to be thrilled that she is learning from the Bible. I'm always encouraged when our contacts want to read on their own. Joanna does just that and has questions about what she's read. Her husband also joins us for our study on Saturdays.
* Victor is a very polished and polite Bolivian man who has been transferred to the States from Switzerland by his Swiss company He attends all services at Fair Lawn and comes to our Saturday night Bible studies in the home of German Ortiz in Paterson, New Jersey, asking very perceptive questions during the studies. I want to start a one on one Bible study with Victor. However, he is going back to Switzerland for the holidays. I was able to get the address of brethren in Zurich from Jerry Earnhart to give to Victor and he has promised to contact them while there.
* Edgardo is a very deep thinking young man from El Salvador who already knows a lot about the Bible. He has taken a number of Bible correspondence courses from brethren and simply needs to make the decision to obey the gospel. However, since he is very cautious and analytical, he is taking his time. He has been attending services in Fair Lawn for a little over a month.
* Crystal Campusano is one of our teenage Christians in Upper Manhattan. She has invited friends from school to her house on Friday nights and we haven't been able to get a Bible teacher to help her yet. I hope Tom and Susan Beeler can help her after the holidays. I'm thrilled when teenage Christians make this type of an effort.
I hope reading these brief notes about some of our contacts isn't monotonous. We surely have plenty of contacts here. Our challenge is teaching them in the best possible way and then helping them deal with all the challenges they must face after becoming Christians. We lose many to the world.
I often feel that I already have too many irons in the fire with my paper, correspondence, home studies, responsibilities towards brethren, etc., but feel that the opportunity to start a web page is too important to pass up. I have "tons" of articles and study materials but simply haven't been able to get the money or time to publish and distribute it all in traditional book form. A web site, however, will allow me to be able to cheaply make the material accessible to people all around the world.
Drew DeGrado, who has a web page designing and hosting company, Electric-Light.com, has taken a lot of time off his super busy schedule to help set up the basic structure of our web page and teach me how I can fill it up with material. I can tell that filling the site out with all my materials and linking it all correctly will take months, maybe years. Each page of material needs to be tweaked and linked. When I get through I'll have hundreds of pages on the site. Drew, a member of the English speaking church in Fair Lawn, is a fantastic person and I am blessed to have him helping me.
I'm starting on the English side of the site to try to learn what I'm doing and then with the experience I've gained on the English side, try to work on the Spanish side which will be much more extensive. I should have some articles and outlines uploaded in the next few days, so if you want to see the site in its embryonic form, click "www.creced.com" on the internet. I'm going to start off going for quantity and then when I get a lot of material on the site, I will try to play around more with colors, graphics, pictures and other visual attention grabbers.
We had an very enjoyable meeting at North Terrace in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Beverly was a member there for a while before we got married and we have many friends there.
We hope to go to Georgia for family visits from the 25th of December to New Years day. My nephew, John David Trimble, is getting married. Also, I have a meeting planned for Long Beach, California in Spanish in January.
We're all enjoying good health and are so thankful for the thoughts and prayers of those who encourage us in our work.